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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 35: Encapsulating BanglaDesh’s Liberation War is Meghmallar

IFFI 51, 16-24 January, 35: Encapsulating BanglaDesh’s Liberation War is Meghmallar

“In Bangladesh, we call the 1971 Liberation War as the People’s War. My film Meghmallar is the story of a small-town family’s struggle during the war time.” – Bangladeshi Film Director Zahidur Rahim Anjan

“This is not the story of one family, but of every family in the-then East Pakistan. Every family had a contribution in the Liberation War, the most important event of our history.” – Bangladesh’s National Award winning actor Shahiduzzaman Selim.

The Director and Actor hailing from the focus country of IFFI 51 were addressing a press conference at the 51st International Film Festival of India, in Goa.

Anjan said, “Based on a short story by reputed novelist Akhteruzzaman Elias, Meghmallar narrates the tragic tale of a life-altering experience that an ordinary family goes through in a span of just three days. The film also extensively shows the beauty of my country.”

“We belong to the post-war generation who did not seen the war; through this movie, you will be able to see and experience the real war situations", said Aparna Ghosh, Bangladesh’s national award winning actor who plays the female protagonist in the film.

“We are in a festive mood; this is the 50th year of our independence and 100th birth anniversary of the Father of our Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

Speaking about the film-industry of Bangladesh, Anjan and Selim informed that the Government of Bangladesh supports and provides grants to make good films. However, of films this genre are not commercially successful in Bangladesh, said the Director.

Speaking about outside influence on film-making in Bangladesh, Anjan said, “Not just Indian Bengali cinema, films from other regions of India, too, exert an influence on our films. Works of legendary Indian film-makers like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and Rajen Tarafdar are highly respected and admired in our country.”

The Director informed that his future film projects may focus on issues related to environment and women, while narrating good stories, as these call for more attention.

The film Mehgmallar is the story of Nurul Huda, a chemistry teacher of a Government college in a provincial town. His middle class existence revolves around his wife Asma and 5-year-old daughter Sudha. They have another person living with them, Mintu, Asma’s brother. Suddenly one morning they find that Mintu has left, without informing anyone, to join the freedom fighters. In a night of heavy rain, freedom fighters attack the Pakistani Army Camp located in the college campus. In retaliation, the Army comes to take Nurul Huda into their custody. Nurul Huda gets killed, while in captivity, while his family lives on, to suffer with wounded hearts.


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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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